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Eleanor Mello

Eleanor Mello’s husband started his own auto body shop in South Dartmouth. He built a fishing boat and hired crew to fish while he ran his auto body shop. After he passed away, Eleanor ran the shop. In her free time, she loved fishing for bluefish and tending her 10 lobster traps. 

“He had some friends who had a fishing boat, and they talked him into building a fishing boat. And so he did. Big secret. He didn’t tell me about it. So, he built it in big Boothbay Harbor in Maine. And then every weekend, he would go up and check on it.”

“I got a phone call on a Saturday, noon time. And he says, ‘Ell, I’m at the lawyer, we need a name for this boat.’ I says, ‘Well, I’m gonna tell you what, I just cooked a chicken and I got a can of cranberries in my hand. And it says Ocean Spray, I think that belongs on a boat.’ So be it. And that was the name of it.” 

“When I was in my 20’s, I went to New Hampshire with my aunt and lived there and I worked at Sprague Electric, and I received a certificate for the safe landing of the Apollo 11 on the moon in July of 1969.”

“1971 – Unfortunately, my husband passed away on the ninth of January. I came back to Dartmouth to see what’s going on with the garage and the business and how my son is doing. I came back and tried to put the business back together. It was failing. Nine men that want a paycheck at the end of the week. Good thing I have low stress. I didn’t worry about anything. But it was quite a challenge. You know, being a woman in the world of men running body shops. But I was having a grand time driving the wrecker and woo-ooh!” 

“When I get the blues, I go fishing!”

“I have a lot of friends. When they are down in the dumps, they call me because the know that I will cheer them up. And that’s what I strive for. To make people happy. My motto is I want everybody to be happy and I want to be happy. I don’t want no disrespect.” 

“I think these fishermen are doing a wonderful job. It’s not an easy job. You know opening those sea scallops and all the fish and clams and lobsters. But if we didn’t have them, we wouldn’t have no fish in the stores.”

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